Gallant filly aces Group rivals

4 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

The well-named Miss Federer (NZ) (Swiss Ace) was in grand slam form at New Plymouth where she produced a performance of both quality and courage to return to winning ways.

The filly’s will to win couldn’t be questioned after she overcame a torrid run, and by her jockey’s admission an ordinary ride, to triumph in the G3 Woburn Farm Classic.

In a seven-horse field, she was forced to sit three wide on the speed and just when the well-fancied Hasstobegood (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}) looked set to sail on by in the closing 50 metres, Miss Federer came off the canvas to take her first stakes title.

“It was probably the worst ride of my entire career,” Lisa Allpress said. “The plan was to roll forward as she’s a bit one dimensional.

“It was probably the worst ride of my entire career.” - Lisa Allpress.

“The horse outside her didn’t really let up and kept coming and I really had to stay positive to hold that horse out.

“In the meantime, another horse kicked up on her inside. She was a victim of circumstances and nothing went right.

“To her credit, she was so tough and kept fighting – I couldn’t believe it. She’s very brave.”

Miss Federer

The runner-up Hasstobegood is no slouch either and had finished third and less than half a length behind the subsequent Karaka Million winner Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) at Ellerslie at her previous appearance.

“We re-grouped, targeted this race and we’ve got the result.” – Andrew Carston.

Miss Federer tailed the field home in that race, failing to handle the right-handed way of going after back to back wins on her home turf at Riccarton.

“Everything went pear-shaped and I’m glad we decided not to run her in the Karaka Million after that,” trainer Andrew Carston said. “We re-grouped, targeted this race and we’ve got the result.”

He also said restraining Miss Federer from a wide gate was, in hindsight, an unwise move with the filly not appreciating racing among horses. A subsequent veterinary examination found nothing amiss and the green light to the New Plymouth race.

“That was unbelievable, just unreal. It was a hard run and she’s very tough,” Carston said. “She’s always been a filly that’s never showed much in her work and she’s a different horse on race day.”

Carston is unsure of Miss Federer’s immediate future, but will give consideration to a return north for the G2 J Swap Contractors Ltd Matamata Breeders’ S.

“That was unbelievable, just unreal. It was a hard run and she’s very tough.” - Andrew Carston.

Hasstobegood had every chance, but had to settle for second money ahead of her stablemate Last Sight (NZ) (Showcasing (GB). Folk Dress (Pierro) raced on the pace and battled on fairly enough to finish fourth on debut.

Miss Federer pictured as a yearling

Bred by Nearco Stud, Miss Federer was sold during the Book 2 Sale at Karaka last year by Bradbury Park with Carston going to just NZ$10,000 to secure her.

She is a daughter of the two-time Listed winner Halobelle (NZ) (My Halo {Arg}), who is a half-sister to the Group performer Benelli (NZ) (I Conquer {NZ}).

Grand Classic trial

Meanwhile, Elate (NZ) (Savabeel) earned favouritism for next month's G1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks contender with her decisive victory in the Listed Fasstrack Prelude.

A smart ride by Cameron Lammas brought out the best in the filly and, after they were posted three wide, he made a mid-race move to head to the front.

“They were going slow so I opted to go forward,” he said. “We set a good clip and she kept kicking.”

Roger James, who prepares Elate with Robert Wellwood, also praised Lammas’ performance.

“They were going slow so I opted to go forward.” – Cameron Lammas.

“He took bad luck out of the equation,” he said. “He made the decision and I’m pleased it was the right one.”

Elate finished runner-up in the G3 Eulogy S. before she was unplaced in the G2 Royal S. at Ellerslie, although James was more than satisfied with her performance.

“She ran a quicker last 600 and 400 metres than the winner of the Railway,” he said.

A NZ$270,000 Karaka yearling offered by Wentwood Grange, Elate is out of the High Chaparral (Ire) mare High Joy (NZ) who is from the family of the multiple Group 1 winner Bonecrusher (NZ) (Pag Asa)